Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 1

Sunday 5/18
4 mi

Monday 5/19
nada

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Unless you count snuggling with Penelope...which I suppose I do.

Tuesday 5/20
3 morning miles — cool outside and very nice
pushups and crunches — damn lucky to have made it in there

Wednesday 5/21
Crazy work day 1/3 for the week

Thursday 5/22
Crazy work day 2/3 for the week
5 evening miles — warm and humid but nice

Friday 5/23
Crazy work day 3/3 for the week + The Bachelorette viewing in the evening (no judging…)

Saturday 5/24
5 pre-bachelorette party (mismatched and rushed and slightly lost for a mile or so) miles

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Proof of survival.

And then a big night of
mischief making…

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Plotting over bottles of Don.

eating…

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Before...

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...and after.

and drinking…
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and singing and dancing…

(of which there is conveniently no photographic evidence)

and fireworks!!

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Safety first...

yay Dr. AnneBelle 🙂

(And of course recovery breakfast at Penn station…

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Y.U.M. 🙂

Total: 17 miles
Not such a high milage week, but that’s the way Week #1 should be. The miles felt good and the off days did too. 😉 As the temps and miles ramp up hopefully all will keep feeling this way!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!! (etc…)

My goodness it’s been a while again! I would like to justify this by telling you about all of the great places I’ve been and all of the trotting that I’ve been doing. Unfortunately, this would just make a me a huge liar…and would probably not actually be all that great in the end as I have a rather crappy imagination. Booooo….

So what has been going on this week. Well, there has been some marathon training, we are officially in Week #1 right now. 🙂 I ran a whole 3 miles on Tuesday morning…
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and another 5 today.

So far so good (thank god)!

Last weekend a friend of Dr. Samia and I came to visit from MN. Well, Dr. Mazar is actually from the lovely Garden State originally, but is working in MN now. Anyway, Dr. Mazar is probably the coolest uncle on the planet because he came for the weekend soley to attend his niece’s 3rd birthday party! While Dr. S and I would like to think he came to visit us, his wonderful graduate school friends, deep down I think we both know better. That didn’t stop us from having a fantastic, very non-marathon training, time…

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Hoika and beer...

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...and pie for breakfast...

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...and 1/2...

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...and 2/2 home made GRILLED pizzas for dinner.

On a healthier note (kind of…and I’m really not the best at making smooth transitions out of thin air…), GRANDPA TURNED 90 THIS WEEK!! I wish I had a photo of him to post for a proper birthday shout out, but somehow I do not x-( In short, grandpa has been a lumber-jack (cutting down trees well into his eighties because no one else can do it quite right), a professional wrestler (I’d tell you to Google-search “Michigan Slim” but this was bit before Google’s time), a hunter (never mind that he shot the end of his own finger off once after it wandered its way over the end of the gun barrel…I don’t know that I’m supposed to talk about this, so shhhhhh…), a mill-er and maybe a miner as well. Anyway, the moral of the story is that Gramps was/is pretty damn cool and Dr. Trot should be ashamed of herself for not having one damn incriminating picture to post for the big 9-0. I guess that also means Gramps was/is sufficiently stealthy…not half bad for 6’4″ and NINE decades 😀

And with that — Happy Birthday niece Mazar! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA! And happy first week of marathon training!

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The Hamptons Marathon Training: Week = -1

Training for The Hamptons Marathon full begins in just one short week! Yikes!

Unfortunately for Dr. Trot, someone has been doing a lot more hydrating and fueling like this…

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The making of the "one bottle a night" rule on just another Thursday night...

and like this…

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Breakfast of champions.

than in a happy-marathon-day minded way. Oops! :-/

So, that must all change starting now!

I have spent the last two weeks getting over my bad-behavior-induced cold/cough (getting old is rough man…) and only felt like I could put in some productive miles starting this weekend. So that’s what we did.

Saturday 5/10: ~5 mi @ who knows
It was nice and warm out with a light breeze. And humid 🙂 — which was great for the lungs but kept the pace pretty slow (Yes, yes of course I’m blaming the humidity for that — my fitness level certainly had nothing to do with it!) It felt great to get out and get moving which was a nice sign considering how I have been feeling lately

Sunday 5/11: ~7.5 mi @ slow + a few “I’m hot” pauses

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I survived!

It was nice and warm (~80F) again today with less humidity (30%) and no real wind to speak of. Today’s run was a really pretty route that I don’t usually take. I need to get over the one mile difference between 6 and 7 miles because this is a really pretty route. About 1/3 is on a great dirt trail along the canal, another 1/3 is along a paved country road that winds its way through fields and undeveloped land just outside of Pton, and then 1/3 is on two of the little roads going in and out of town. While I will maintain that the lack of public water out here (particularly along the tow path — the gravel path along the canal that people used to walk on way back in the day as they towed boats down the canal) is total bull shit, this is a really great route. AND, now that I’m well aware of this egregious deficiency of the Northeast, and have a wonderful, multipurpose, purple side back-kick…
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there shouldn’t be any too many near-death-by-dehydration issues to complain about (that doesn’t mean that there won’t be — there just shouldn’t be). Anyway, it was just nice to survive today a great way to start off the training season 🙂

Now, in an attempt to survive make the most of this training season, Dr. Trot is uncharacteristically prepared 7 days out from Week #1. The game plan is as follows:

1. Follow a training schedule with 4 running days/week (very similar to last year).

For anyone interested in this kind of a marathon training schedule, here it is in an even-easy-enough-for-Dr-Trot-to-use Google calendar format –

The mileage maxes out at 46 mi/week 4 weeks before the marathon and every third week is a cutback. The long runs are scheduled for Saturdays (a to get it out of the way 1st thing on the weekend and b) to prep for a Saturday marathon. The second weekend run is meant to simply get more miles in on tired legs. Fun. The two weekday runs are on Tuesday and Thursday so Monday can be a rest day after the truckload of weekend miles and Friday can be a rest day in preparation for said miles. I’m going to try to keep my Tuesdays a bit shorter and faster (think tempo runs or fartleks) while the Thursday runs will be longer but easier miles. I personally have a hard time breaking away from work 3 times a week to run and some extra time off my feet between Tuesday and Thursday is nice to have (think “operation avoid the damn shin splints”). However, if you prefer to be out 5 days instead of 4, by all means, take Tuesday a little easier, get a short fast run in on Wednesday, and then maybe take a mile or two or three off of the Thursday run to avoid burning out.

I feel like I should also mention something about the signs of overtraining and how to amend the schedule if these start to appear. In short, shave a mile or two off of the shorter runs, or scrap one day a week altogether, to give the body a chance to recharge while doing your best to keep the long run…the most important…more or less on schedule. Since that really doesn’t do justice to the “Oh shit I’m overtraining! What do I do?” realization, I’ll have to be back with more on that later. Hopefully it’ll be a few months before this is necessary. Hopefully…

2. Include a daily core exercise program to shed this life jacket that I’ve been wearing since Feb…2004… (very dissimilar to last year)

The aim will be to follow the off season strength training regime (more diligently) –

1. Kneeling hip-flexor stretch
2. Superman
3. Metronome
4. Crunches
5. Plank (+lift)
6. Side plank (+lift)
7. Supine plank
8. Pushups

The lofty goal will be to go through these 8 pains in my core little treasures (x2) after Tuesday’s run, the Saturday long run and the Sunday recovery run (3x per week). I also want to make my favorite plank, pushups and a quick abs search-and-rescue mission regular occurances on the other 4 days of the week (rest days included). Good luck to me.

3. Keep tabs of what works, what sucks and what translates into better fitness — vs. just a crabbier, tireder (of course that’s a word) Dr. Trot — by honest-to-god-pinky-swear-really-really-really-I’m-serious-this-time keeping a running journal.

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Never mind the dead plants or the gross runners feet -- I have no idea who either of those belong to.

I’ll probably definitely subject you to excerpts of this as a means of forcing myself to do it and keeping it PG-13.

4. Work is important but not 24/7/365 important.

I want to should do all of the above and if that means I can’t put in all of the +18 hr work days that someone would like me to, that’s ok. Life will continue, probably even as we know it, and the bugs will wait until tomorrow for me. (And if they don’t, it’ll be a hell of a lot more interesting paper than anything I’m going to get out of these +18 hr experiment days!)

4. Beer is not dinner and does not count as carb-loading.

Alrighty, and with that, I think I need to go. I apparently need to search for some long lost core muscles and write in a stupid journal. Some people and their crazy ideas :-/

Have a great upcoming THMT Week = 0!

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Best. Roommate. Ever.

I have the very best roommate. Ever.

She is wicked smart and funny and talented and thoughtful and independent and strong and beautiful. She is the most wonderful person to call on when you are faced with a serious moving endeavor (twice), when you run your car battery bone dry by being a total idiot, when you need a morning of coffee drinking therapy or a night of on the town shinanigans. She’s the person you’d want by your side when you’re committing a felony or swimming towards a waterfall (hypothetically speaking…of course…) She’s the type of person that can see the humor of holding a wedding dress in one hand and a 50 lb puppy covered in dog shit in the other, and is game for doing what you must to sport a variety of swim suits on vacation while everyone else looks on in disgust. She’s a damn good shot with a hand gun, splits wood as well as anyone I’ve ever seen, has a hell of a garden and is a fantastic cook.

As if all of this isn’t impressive enough, 10 years, 5 apartments, 2 houses, boyfriends, husbands and 2000 miles later, she knows exactly how and when to make a persons day/week/month.

Waiting for me at home, after a Saturday at work, was this —

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This.

This = a bag of home-made chocolate chip espresso cookies, a caffeine necklace, an awesome card and the very best note on the planet.

Smadj, it’s friends like you that make the fun parts of life fun and the shitty parts bearable. Thank you for the most wonderful surprise tonight. Thank you for making my day/week/month And thank you for being the BEST DAMN ROOMMATE EVER.

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Gracias Madre (San Francisco, CA)

After dinner out at Tortuga’s this weekend (which you can read all about here) I could not stop thinking about Mexican food! Rather than going back for a third round of delicious over indulgence in two weeks (you can judge me after you try it) I figured I’d take the lower calorie option of writing about it.

So you’ll notice that the title of this post has nothing to do with Mexican turtles or Princeton, NJ. The delicious little treasure that I’m going to tell you about is from my most recent trip to San Francisco, CA. The little iPad snafoo that occurred during this trip made posting very unattractive to me for a while. I think our relationship is more or less on the mend now though, so here we go 🙂

On Friday, the first day of my trip, Dr. M and I decided to go into SF to roam around without having to battle the weekend crowds of irritating tourists (not that I should be included in this group or anything…)

Note: Friday = weekend in touristville 😦

So, instead of standing in line for the cable cars and elbowing our way through the wharf we wandered our way through the Mission district for a calm afternoon and some good eats.

Enter Gracias Madre.

This cute little joint had outdoor seating, live music and a local, organic, seasonal, vegan, Mexican menu.
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What?!?!

The menu

GM’s menu is seasonal and vegan. It is determined by what is currently available at their local organic farm, BE LOVE Farm, in Pleasants Valley, CA. All of their cheeses and milks and ice creams are made using nuts and their tortillas and tamales are handmade from non-GMO organic heirloom corn. They typically have a selection of antojitos, entradas, sides and postres.
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We ordered three items to share.

1) The quesadilla de camote with sweet potato and caramelized onions folded into tortillas with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa
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2) Gorditas, grilled potato-masa cakes topped with warm salsa verde, avocado and cashew cream
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3) Empandads, homemade pastries filled with grilled plantains, served on a bed of spice mole sauce and topped with cashew cream
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Now I always get super excited about pumpkin dishes. And they seem to be trending right now – lets put pumpkin in this, lets put pumpkin in that. So, I’m not sure if I was too excited, or if they quesadilla wasn’t totally thought through before it was put on the menu, but there was too much pumpkin! I’m also not the biggest sweet potato fan (which seem to be everyone else’s hottest crush right now) so maybe that had something to do with it. Maybe. Probably. Anyway, the over-pumpkin + sweet potato gripe aside, the food was fantastic.

To be honest/fair/whatever, the flavors and textures were not those of your typical Mexican food. Frankly, I think this should be expected given that the dishes are made from very different ingredients. It isn’t a bad thing, you just can’t expect to taste cheese when use almonds. With this expectation, the food was delicious. It was fresh and rich and filling yet not heavy.

The staff

The staff was great. The waitress was helpful and the music troupe that migrated around the patio (and maybe inside as well) was adorable.

The ambiance

The ambiance was great too. The restaurant is on a relatively busy street in the Mission neighborhood and there are buses and cars and people going back and forth in front of the front patio. This gave it a nice cozy neighborhood feel.

And complementary blessings from La Madre herself!
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Gracias Madre! 😉

The inside is a little bit more done up — nice tables, decor, lighting, etc… It was a great place for an afternoon lunch and I would anticipate that it’s a hot date night destination.

$$

Very reasonable. Main dishes are <$15, sides are <$5 and our antojitos were <$10 each. We had plenty of food and given the quality of the ingredients used (which I am willing to pay more for), I think this is very affordable.

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Happy Anniversary Flu!

You know those friends who, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other or even had much of a conversation quite frankly (read: primary means of communication = FB chats), you can pick up with right where you left off so many days weeks months years ago? That was the story of my last weekend. An old friend, from what seems like another lifetime now, came to visit Dr. Trot for the weekend. We hadn’t seen or spoken to each other, much less seen each other, in over 5 years so while I had high hopes, the four days really could have gone any number of directions. To my delight it was immediately clear that any/all fears I had were totally unfounded. It was like those 5+ years didn’t exist. It was like we could have last seen each other yesterday. It was like we could have been staying up and going out and drinking and dancing like never-tiring, hangover-resistant early 20-somethings all this time. And so, this is exactly what we did. All. Weekend. Long. :-/

In three short days we consumed more Yuengling than I have in my entire life, de-briefed Dr. Trot on a number of music genres for which her working knowledge is slipping, walked the entire city of Philadelphia – twice (this isn’t an exageration…not at all…thanks to the good Dr.’s market finding deficiencies…), toured a prison (Eastern State Penitentiary to be exact)
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(not what you do when you go on vacation? what’s wrong with you?), pretended to be Rocky, chased our favorite form of public transportation (not a week goes by without…), played board games, watched bad horror movies, hiked the Appalachian trail
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(well, 10 miles of it anyway),
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and gorged ourselves at (not “on”) Tortugas (which you can read all about here)

In the blink of an eye we were back to being 22 — enjoying a carefree yet exciting weekend in perpetual motion.

Then, all too quickly Tuesday morning reared her head and with an equal but opposite eye blink  — BAM!!!

It was back to reality.

A harsh, tired, achy, coughy, 30-something year old reality. 😦 It was 4 days of playing catch-up at work (complete with plenty of fumbles), the cough turned into a sore throat and more coughing and stuffiness and sneezing, and the tiredness and achiness pretty much staying put.

So it goes.

My pre-weekend risk assessment suggested this might happen. But, sometimes you just have to go for it anyway, 22 yrs old or not.

Now, my most-definitely-NOT-22-yr-old self is wrapping up a #%@&ing  lovely Saturday at work, with a economy sized bag of cough drops
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and a bottomless mug of green tea.

For those of you who have made it this far (and are wondering WTF the title and content of this post have in common) I have saved the best for last. The best part of this whole mess is that today is exactly the 1 year anniversary of my PhD defense! One year of being in the real world as a post-doc and getting my professional priorities in order and making progress towards the end game of landing a fancy, big-time, grown-up academic position…

Right.

One year seems like such a long time, but how little has actually changed (aside from the jug-handle left turns and no longer pumping my own gas).  Maybe academic careers, and the crazy people who chase them, are (for better or worse) like old friends. They are interesting, fun, challenging and exciting. Yet (at times) they can be careless, necessitating lengthy recovery regimes. Finally, changes is slow and bad old habits die hard, so when you choose to stick around, it had better be because you enjoy the ride (or are truly that bat shit crazy)

And with that, please excuse me while I go and fetch myself another celebratory mug of tea.

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